Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Some Strange Satie Facts

The French composer Erik Satie (1866-1925) gave his piano pieces some odd titles. For instance: "Flabby Preludes (for a Dog)" (1912) and "Three Pieces in the Shape of a Pear" (1903).

 His scores also contain instructions to the performers like "Light as an egg," "With astonishment," or "Work it out yourself." Here some others:
  • In the morning, on an empty stomach 
  • Hypocritically Crabbed and cantankerous 
  • Moderate and very restless 
  • Pianissimo, short of breath 
  • With a lot of difficulty Run! 
 More? Here are some other Strange Satie Facts:
  • he carried a gun in his pocket for protection 
  • he wore grey velvet suits and became known as "the velvet gentleman." 
  • he detested the sun, and tried to go outside only during bleak days
  • he washed only with pumice stone, never soap 
  • he "never spoke while eating, for fear of strangling himself," 
  • and only ate white foods. His list? Eggs, sugar, shredded bones, animal fat, salt, coconuts, rice, turnips, pastry, cheese (white varieties), cotton salad, and certain kinds of fish
(which one's not true (the first: it was a hammer not a gun)
    At the very least this gives us all a free pass today to be as odd as we like (or even odder than usual).

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